trans·la·tion | \tran(t)s-ˈlā-shən, tranz-\

Definition of translation 

1 : an act, process, or instance of translating: such as

a : a rendering from one language into another also : the product of such a rendering

b : a change to a different substance, form, or appearance : conversion

c(1) : a transformation of coordinates in which the new axes are parallel to the old ones

(2) : uniform motion of a body in a straight line

2 : the process of forming a protein molecule at a ribosomal site of protein synthesis from information contained in messenger RNA — compare transcription sense 3

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Other Words from translation

translational \tran(t)s-ˈlā-shnəl, tranz-, -shə-nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for translation


paraphrase, rephrasing, restatement, restating, rewording, translating


quotation, quote

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Examples of translation in a Sentence

She is working on a translation of the novel. a new translation of the Iliad There were English translations on the menu. the translation of economic power into political strength
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Recent Examples on the Web

Bikes are permitted on the trailhead at Deadfall Meadow and require an additional 400-foot climb, 2,600-foot climb total — translation: experts only. Tom Stienstra,, "Mount Eddy’s ‘reveal moment’ of giant Shasta," 5 July 2018 Besides Hunter and Wells, there’s one other Republican, Shamus Sayed, a businessman who owns a linguistic translation business. Joshua Stewart,, "Congressional District 50: Rep. Duncan Hunter's campaign finance issues have drawn plenty of challengers," 30 Apr. 2018 Emily Wilson’s new translation is outstanding, accessible, and readable. Amy Sutherland,, "The trick to reading while walking? Hold the book up a bit.," 29 June 2018 One of those in-between genre projects is The Words of Others, an English translation of Argentinian artist León Ferrari’s politically charged, cut-and-paste text from the 1960s. Catherine Womack, Los Angeles Magazine, "Keanu Reeves Is Publishing Books That Are Beautiful, Socially Conscious, and Worth Your Time," 23 Feb. 2018 And also the digital translation of this into the Blu-ray, HD and the DVD are really first rate. Ciara Mcvey, The Hollywood Reporter, "Kenneth Branagh Says Directing All-Star Cast of 'Murder on the Orient Express' Was "Intimidating" | In Studio," 20 Feb. 2018 Practically, finding adequate translation services for indigenous families is often difficult and leaves them with few avenues to access social services or interact in family court, often represented by someone who doesn’t speak the same language. Rory Taylor, Teen Vogue, "The Current Border Crisis Feels All Too Familiar for Indigenous Peoples in the United States," 12 July 2018 The nonprofit Grassroots Leadership collected letters from mothers who were separated from their children at the U.S. border and provided English translations., "'I'm asking God every day for us to be together again soon'," 3 July 2018 Both meetings will have Spanish translation services available. Laura Groch,, "On the agenda, May 13," 13 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'translation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of translation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to translation

in translation

lose (something) in translation

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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The first known use of translation was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of translation

: words that have been changed from one language into a different language : words that have been translated

: the act or process of translating something into a different language

: the act or process of changing something from one form to another


trans·la·tion | \trans-ˈlā-shən \

Kids Definition of translation

: the act, process, or result of changing from one form or language into another


trans·la·tion | \tran(t)s-ˈlā-shən, tranz- \

Medical Definition of translation 

: the process of forming a protein molecule at a ribosomal site of protein synthesis from information contained in messenger RNA — compare transcription

Other Words from translation

translational \-shnəl, -shən-ᵊl \ adjective

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one that holds something together

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